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  • Victims hold signs as they protest against government

    Victims hold signs as they protest against government's lack of response two months after deadly earthquake on September 19, in Mexico City, Mexico, November 19, 2017 | Photo: Reuters

The Mexican government has offered reconstruction loans instead of direct aid after a 7.1 magnitude quake hit the city on Sept. 19.

Hundreds of Mexico City residents are protesting what they say is the national and local government taking financial advantage of them by offering loans and credits to rebuild their homes destroyed or damaged by the 7.1 magnitude quake that struck on Sept. 19.

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Protesters held signs that read, “no to credits” and “corrupt and inept.”

They said they are being taken advantage of by government agencies that are only offering affected residents credits and loans to rebuild, rather than being able to access existing government funds created for such disasters.

One protesters said, “We don’t want (bank) credits. We already paid into the system."

"The disaster wasn’t our fault. We demand that (state officials) tell us how much money exists in Fonden," he added. Fonden is Mexico’s Natural Disaster Fund created to help citizens with the effects of major natural disasters.

Protesters said the government and banks are taking advantage of their misfortune by earning capital interest on their potential loans to rebuild their homes. “We are asking society to not forget us, those who are still sleeping in the street.”

Those protesting, which included members of national unions, said they also want access to the funds and resources that international donors gave to quake victims. Some held signs thanking the international community for their quake donations.

According to the city, roughly 38 buildings were destroyed in the quake.

In early November, residents of 17 Mexico City zones refused the city’s financial loans and credits to rebuild after the Sept. 19 quake, demanding public funds.

The Mexican government estimates that the city needs just under US$2 billion to fully rehabilitate its infrastructure damaged by the quake.

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